Rendering of park.
An artist’s rendering depicts the completed Lakeside Equestrian Park. Officials broke ground on the $17 million project Oct. 21, and expect it to be finished in early 2022.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and parks officials broke ground Wednesday on the $16.9 million Lakeside Equestrian Park, which is expected to open in early 2022.

Jacob and a few socially distanced parks officials and horseback riders were in attendance as an earth-moving excavator dug its mechanical dipper-bucket into the ground to signal the start of the project, which will include a 45,000-square-foot covered arena, an open arena and a multi-purpose building that can be used for community events.

“We’re going to have people come in here to this facility (from) all over the county, and even outside the county,” Jacob said, “because there’s nothing like it.”

The equestrian park project has been in the planning stages since 2012. Jacob said it will create jobs and become an economic engine in addition to providing rural Lakeside — known for its horse community — with a state-of- the-art equestrian and community center.

County parks officials said the equestrian park — to be located on a 13.88-acre site at the northeast corner of Moreno Avenue and Willow Road — will be the first in the county parks system.

The covered arena will include an announcer’s booth, PA system, stockpens, bucking chutes, header and heeler chutes, an electronic scoreboard with timing eye and bleacher seating. It will also feature ADA access, restrooms, a public day-use staging area with a shade pavilion, picnic tables, overnight RV parking with utility hookups, and livestock and horse corrals.

Jacob has represented the Second District for 27 years — longer than any other supervisor in the county’s history. She is retiring in January.